10 October 2008

A new walk

I've found a new path to take on my late afternoon walks with the dog. It's on a tractor path that will get very muddy once the winter rains begin, so I'm taking advantage of it now while it's dry.

A view toward the village center on my new walk

Actually, I've known about the first part of this walk for quite a while. When you go out our back gate, you turn right and stumble down the hill on a rough path that gets washed out by heavy rains. You walk past rows of vines and then where the vines end you turn right again, along the electrified fence that helps keep deer out of the grapes.

A typical old farmhouse on the walk, with a ladder
to get you up into the granary, or attic

A few steps farther on the electric fence has been lowered so that you can step over it and turn left onto a very rutted tractor path through some woods. Right now, the path is covered with autumn leaves and chestnuts in their spikey hulls. The path continues downhill, fairly steeply.

Callie walking on an old path through the woods

At the bottom of that hill, you are in the flat part of the Cher River valley. In past years when I've taken this walk, I've often turned right toward the river at this point, walking past houses (one with a swimming pool) and on dirt roads to make a big loop south and then west back to our house on the paved road, the rue de la Renaudière.

Looking toward and across the river, over fields and new houses

Or I've turned left and walked back up the hill through woods to a little settlement — a dozen houses, maybe, on the rue des Bas Bonneaux — and then on the paved road west to the vineyards again. There, a turn left takes you south through rows of vines to the gravel road that runs through the vineyard and back east toward our house.

New houses at sunset down in the river valley
the yellow house, left, has solar panels on the roof

The other day I found out I could continue straight on instead of turning right or left at the bottom of the hill, where the woods end. The "new" path runs parallel to the river (but not close) and goes past fields, near a small orchard, and not far from 6 or 8 new houses that have been built on the flats down there. At this point, I'm going toward the village center.

Another old house you pass when you are walking back
up the hill on the paved road

The views are beautiful, especially on a bright sunny day like yesterday. The sun was getting low in the western sky, and the light was, well, luminous. It felt like one of those late summer days when the sun is trying to make its last stand.

Jean-Noël Guerrier sells wines retail out of his cellar.
It's better to call for an appointment rather than just drop
by, because he and his wife are often out working in the vines.

As far as Callie and I go, so far, is the next paved road, which is where Monsieur Guerrier and his wife live and where they have their wine cellar. I've been down there several times to buy wine from him, but always by car. It would be hard to carry 20 or 30 liters opf wine back up that hill on foot!

Back down in the river valley and on the way home at sunset

The end of the walk is a little loop on the paved road, doubling back until you come to the next path through the woods on the left. You go back down the hill, take a right, and walk back up the hill into the vineyard on the north side of our house. One advantage of this walk for me: it's kind of steep at points so you get a lot of good exercise walking uphill.


  1. This looks like a great walk – I particularly like the look of the wooded bit.

    Re bringing home the wine – train Callie to pull a dogcart. After all, Border Collies love to be useful and active :-)

  2. This new walk looks interesting, with lots of photo possibilities and new things for Callie to investigate. Going through the woods is especially nice at this time of year. When the light shines through the yellowing leaves, it turns everything slightly gold.

    Is that house really yellow, and going to stay yellow? Maybe it's a trick of the autumn light.

    Sorry if I posted twice. I think my first post disappeared, but maybe it's still crawling through the pipeline.

  3. Waoh!!!!

    Nice pictures especially the first one with all these colours. It will look good as a framed print :-)

    btw: some troll has managed to get through with its promo spam

  4. The Beav, I deleted the troll's comment.

    Carolyn, your comment came through only once. I'm sorry you are having trouble leaving comments, but don't know what I can do to make it easier.

    That house really is yellow, I think. It's been there for a year or more and the color has stayed the same.

    Susan, good idea about training Callie. She's got the bring-a-stick thing down pat. Time for some new tricks.

  5. Fantastic photos, Ken. That golden late-summer-afternoon light is wonderful.

  6. That picture of Callie on the path through the woods makes me think of New England. Beautiful pictures, with that very special autumn light. Thanks.


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